…today’s secret…Classic country music songs.

A little off-beat fun this week.

American society swings in a 40 year pendulum, from an individualist-be all-you-can-be society to a hey-group-we-can-solve-this-problem society and then back again…and then back again…and then back again.

Yes, we become an entirely different people every 40 years. This can be proven back to biblical times.

Understanding the two major generational swings can go deep, but the essence is that by studying these two past generational cycles we can better understand the present and preview the future.

Neither 40-year generational belief system is better than the other. Both have good. Both have bad. Just accept that they are just what they are.

The chaos we are currently experiencing in America is similar to the chaos of the 1920s, 1850s, and 1770s. Same storyline. Just different characters. Note: We survived those.

Which generation is in charge can be studied by its music. Take country music. (“Please,” said Henny Youngman years ago)…

Classic country and western fans of the 1963-2004 generation think today’s country music has gone to hell in a handbasket.

Peter Lewis wanted to know why and researched all #1 country songs over six decades beginning in 1965.

His investigation uncovered four basic themes to country songs.

…it’s all over (usually a romantic relationship)
…it’s not working out (frustration over the above it’s all over)
…sappy love songs (not cheating, but assurances of love and fidelity)
…the right way to live (homespun pride about getting back to life’s basics)

Students of generational change could have told Peter what his diagnosis would be before Peter’s diagnosis.

Songs about it’s all over and it’s not working out fit perfectly the 40-year generation from 1963 to 2003. The songs were all about the individual – unique and special. The songs were about ‘ME.’

Sappy love songs and songs about the right way to live were not a factor in 1965, but have been significant from 2005 until today. These songs are all about group, the team, the tribe, the collective. Stay together folks! One for all, all for one. Today’s songs reflect the ‘WE’ in us.

(Personal note #1: The current ‘WE’ generation-in-charge does appear to have a lot of opinions about how all of us should live our lives. Chuckle.)

The current generation-in-charge won’t give up their societal keys to the kingdom until 2043. We’re almost half-way there with them. Strap in. The next years will be a bit rocky and then it will start to ease back. Maybe.

For a little fun, here’s a list of actual classic country songs that never made Billboard’s #1. Of course, these songs have been squeezed out of existence now and it’s doubtful they will resurface with the 2043 ‘ME’ generation who will be back in charge.

However, they did humorously reflect blue collar and rural America culture of the 1963-2003 generation.

Get Your Biscuits In The Oven And Your Buns In The Bed
Her Teeth Were Stained, But Her Heart Was Pure
How Can I Miss You If You Won’t Go Away?
I Would Have Writ You A Letter, But I Couldn’t Spell Yuck!
I Wouldn’t Take Her To A Dawg Fight, Cause I’m Afraid She’d Win
If I Can’t Be Number One In Your Life, Then Number Two On You
If You Leave Me, Can I Come Too?
You’re The Reason Our Baby’s So Ugly
I’ll Get Over You As Soon As You Get Out From Under Him
I’ve Got You on My Conscience But At Least You’re Off My Back
We Used to Just Kiss on the Lips But Now It’s All Over
Ever Since I Said “I Do,” There’s a Lot of Things You Don’t
I Hate Every Bone In Your Body Except Mine
Who You Gonna Believe, Me Or Your Lying Eyes?

(Personal note #2: I grew up on classic country songs, but not these.)

But seriously…

(Personal note #3: The more you understand generational change, the better you’ll understand the people you are helping. It will also lighten the tension you may be feeling about America’s current chaos.)